These past couple of weeks have been wonderful, but overwhelmingly busy for our little family. We have had quite a lot of things happening, aside from Hazel's treatment and appointments that have stretched us very thin. At times it has taken all that I have just to think straight, so writing was practically impossible. That being said, we have also experienced so much joy at the many blessings our God has showered upon us! The most prevalent being that Hazel has felt extremely well and we have all been able to live as a normal family! One of the highlights of the last couple of weeks was being able to go out to the move theaters, TOGETHER!!
Today, we have just checked in to being Cycle #2 of Immunotherapy. It is a two week stay, with a break to go home over the weekend. The first week consists of a four day infusion of IL-2, which is not the solution that caused so many difficult side-effects during the last cycle. Most kids sail through it, maybe feeling a bit tired. So our prayer is that it will be the same for our little Hazelnut. So far, she has been hooked up to the infusion for three-and-a-half hours and seems to be doing well, so my hopes are high. Next week is a double infusion of IL-2 and Ch 14.18 (the solution from Cycle #1), and we expect to face a much rougher time. My prayer is that since we have been through the Ch 14.18 infusion once, and we know what seems to best help her, that we will be able to stay on top of the ball and keep her as comfortable as possible. We will keep you updated over these next few weeks and will let you know where we need your prayers the most.
Now I would like to share some of the amazing things that have been happening over the last several weeks and some upcoming events:
On March 15, our family and friends will be participating in the 11th Annual LAFD/LAPD St. Baldrick's Event, at Fire Station 89 in North Hollywood, California. The many participants of this wonderful event will be shaving their heads to raise much needed funds for childhood cancer research. All money raised goes to The St. Baldrick's Foundation, a volunteer based charity that funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization except the U.S. Government. We have created a TEAM HAZEL for this event, and our goal is to help raise at least $1000. If you feel compelled to donate to our cause please visit our page at http://www.stbaldricks.org/teams/mypage/91111/2014 and donate now!
From The Make-A-Wish Tri-Counties Facebook page: "Hazel will be the official Wish Kid Ambassador for our local chapter of Make-A-Wish for their 2014 Wishes in Flight campaign, with a goal of one million donated miles! She will be the face of the local campaign and will help raise awareness about the great need for donated airline miles. Many wishes like Hazel’s come true with help from frequent fliers. Their donations of air miles are essential to getting wish kids to their destinations. The Wishes in FlightSM miles donation program is easy – and the miles never expire once donated. 63 percent of the wishes granted locally by Make-A-Wish Tri-Counties, who serves Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, include air travel for families to reach their wish destinations. Locally 8 million donated airline miles are needed to provide wish travel for wish kids and their families each year. Less than 2 million are donated each year, making airline tickets the most avoidable but significant expense for the local chapter. Currently the local Make-A-Wish chapter has depleted their donated airline miles bank, and is paying rack rate for all tickets purchased."
Please consider making a donation in Hazel's honor to help make some dreams come true! To donate Delta, US Airways, Continental, United or JetBlue frequent flyer miles to Make-A-Wish Tri-Counties, go to http://
The wonderful Talbert Family Foundation, which has supported our family so much over this last year has been chosen for the second year in a row by Jersey Mikes' Month of Giving Campaign. This means that for the entire month of March, all Los Angeles area Jersey Mikes Subs Restaurants will donate 100%(!!!) of its proceeds to this organization. In turn, 100% goes directly to the families, like ours, to help them through the many difficulties that comes with a diagnosis like Hazel's. If you live in the area, please take the time to show your support and enjoy a sub!
Last, but certainly not least, this past weekend, we had an amazing opportunity to participate in something that we hope will impact the world of childhood cancer awareness in a BIG, BIG way. We partnered with Paramount Pictures, The Bumpus Family (Lilly Bumpus is a young girl who has beaten Ewing's Sarcoma at just over a year old. You can find her on Facebook), and several other local cancer kiddos to film a documentary! It's main focus is the abysmal 3.8% of cancer funding that our kids receive. Our hope and prayer is that it can be a wide release and garner the attention that this subject deserves in the hopes of moving the world to action! We will keep you updated as to when it will be finished and when and where it will be released!